Consumers Recognize America’s Largest Toy Maker as “Excellent” Overall in Customer Service and Satisfaction
STREETSBORO, OHIO — October 14, 2009 — Recognizing its excellent customer service and consistent positive customer feedback, The Step2 Company’s online direct sales channel at www.step2.com has earned BizRate’s 2009 Platinum Circle of Excellence.
The Step2® Company is a family company with toy brands including Step2®, Infantino®, and Thinkativity® that foster learning and development through creative play in children from birth to school-age years, sold at retail worldwide and via www.step2.com.
The Circle of Excellence recognizes those online retailers within the BizRate®Research network who have demonstrated outstanding performance, as rated by their customers, throughout a one year period. In 2009, over 5,000 online merchants were considered for an award. Winners consistently obtained feedback from their customers throughout the award year period and received the highest ratings. The ratings are from the direct feedback, collected at the point-of-sale and after delivery of goods, from customers concerning seven key satisfaction metrics:
- Overall satisfaction at the point-of-sale
- Product selection at the point-of-sale
- Ease of finding products on the website
- Intent to buy from the same retailer again, collected after the order is received
- Product met expectations, collected after the order is received
- On-time delivery of the order
- Customer support assistance
More than 2,500 people rated their experiences purchasing products through Step2.com’s online store, recognizing the company with an overall score of “excellent.” The Step2 Company earned high marks across the board to be included in the Platinum Circle of Excellence, among only three percent of all merchants evaluated within the BizRate network.
“We are honored to have earned the BizRate Platinum Circle of Excellence,” said Rob MacKay, Vice President for Internet Sales and Marketing at The Step2 Company. “It is especially meaningful that this recognition reflects actual customer feedback, and it is a testimony to the dedication and hard work of the entire Step2 family.”
In addition to providing innovative toys and excellent customer service, The Step2 Company is dedicated to providing parents and child care professionals access to learn and share information about the importance of creative play. CreativePlayPlus.com is a ground-breaking blog launched in partnership with the Step2 Company and the renowned Schubert Center for Child Studies. The site offers a variety of topics related to play and childhood development, and provides visitors with relevant news stories, expert research, articles and other blogs that center around the topic of developmental play.
For more information on Step2 products visit www.step2.com. For a full list of the 2009 BizRate Circle of Excellence winners visit: http://www.bizrate.com/boutique/2009circleofexcellence.html.
About The Step2 Company:
The Step2® Company is a family company with brands including Step2®, Infantino®, and Thinkativity® that foster learning and development through creative play in children from birth to school-age years. Step2, based in Streetsboro, Ohio, is the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys and the world’s largest rotational molder of children’s and home products, including children’s play kitchens, playhouses, outdoor toys and ride on toys, as well as home products such as mailboxes, gardening aids and trash cans. Infantino, headquartered in San Diego, Calif. is a leading designer and international distributor of innovative and original infant, toddler, and preschool products. Featuring fashion-forward designs, the popular product lines include classic creative baby toys and puzzles, innovative soft baby carriers, and simple, no-fuss baby travel systems. New Jersey-based Thinkativity is a leading innovator of electronic and early learning toys promoting inventive play patterns through original musical compositions and stories that inspire children to explore, play and learn. Step2, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University’s Schubert Center for Child Studies, sponsors CreativePlayPlus.com, an online resource to provide parents with the latest research on creative play and child development. Visit www.creativeplayplus.com for more information on this partnered initiative. Visit www.step2.com, www.infantino.com and www.thinkativity.com to learn more about The Step2 Company brands.
Dotti Franks, Vice President Marketing Communications
Lisa Brogan, CURRENT
STREETSBORO, OHIO — October 13, 2009 — Recognizing innovation, creative play and safety, The Step2 Company® has received an unprecedented number of awards from The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, the toy industry’s leading independent consumer reviewer of children’s toys and media. The prestigious Oppenheim Awards recently honored The Step2 Company, the nation’s largest preschool and toddler toy maker, with Platinum and Gold Awards for 13 new Step2® and Infantino® products.
The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio judges on educational and play value, safety, age appropriateness, economic value and other factors, including actual child and parent feedback from testing families around the nation. Award winners also met the highest toy safety standards.
Stephanie Oppenheim, co-founder of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, notes “our testers gave the highest marks to so many of the new products from Step 2. The company clearly has a strong commitment to creating fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate toys for kids. These award winning products bring a fresh look to classic toys that can now be enjoyed by a new generation of kids.”
The Step2 Company puts all of its toys through rigorous safety testing and produces the highest quality products for families.
“We are delighted to be acknowledged by these prestigious awards from The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio,” said Scott Levin, CEO of the Step2 Company. “We continually strive to create new, engaging, safe products that help families foster creative play and developmental learning.”
Step2, the brand famous for its signature play kitchens, playhouses, outdoor climbers, and arts and crafts tables — was recognized by The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for seven new toys, including items from the new preschool line designed specifically for children ages 12 months to 3 years:
- Basic Rhythms Guitar (Platinum): ABCs and music notes are molded into this cool kids’ guitar complete with color coded sheet music.
- Basic Rhythms Piano (Platinum): Have a little Mozart on your hands? Help them to learn piano notes and read music with this pint-sized piano.
- Basic Rhythms Bongos (Gold): Let your child follow the beat of her own drum with these hipster bongos and special beats.
- Basic Rhythms Maracas (Gold): Shake, rattle and dance — kids feel the rhythm to dance and play with this colorful set.
- Cafe Barista (Gold): Today’s tea set just got an update fresh from mom’s favorite coffee shop with everything you need to brew a great coffee and cappuccino while serving delicious treats.
- Gourmet Cafe Kitchen (Gold): This cool cafe kitchen allows kids to cook with their friends in a realistic all-in-one environment featuring a warm and cozy country styling with the conveniences of modern living.
- Pastry Chef (Gold): Little chef testers loved the pretend desserts and tools for creating precious pretend sweet treats.
Infantino toys are known for fashion-forwards designs and ingenious engineering for functional parent products and toys for babies, including stroller toys, puzzles, interactive shopping cart covers, baby carriers, and no-fuss baby travel systems. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio has recognized these six new Infantino toys:
- Flip & Peek Phone (Platinum): Calling all babies! This is a phone they’ll flip over, with fun sounds, peek-a-boo mirrors and recorded greetings in English and Spanish.
- Spiral Spin Top (Platinum): Promoting sensory exploration through cause and effect, and sight, sound and touch, babies can watch the bright balls spiral up and spin back down under their control.
- Twist & Fold Activity Gym (Platinum): Featuring fashionable vintage fabrics, this gym was made for both mom and baby in mind with sounds, textures, bright colors and a teether ring that opens and closes with just one hand.
- Loopapalooza (Gold): Linkable activity loops, with peek-a-boo mirror, textured teether and clacking rings, Infantino has brought classic grasp toys to a whole new level.
- Vintage Jittery Pal (Gold): This Jittery Jungle Pal is a loveable linkable that jitters and shakes, encouraging your baby to play. Bring it in the car, stroller, or anywhere else.
- Wall Mounted Mobile Mirror (Gold): Providing a fun distraction for changing time, this zoo pal has a mirror and dangly feet, and can be mounted on the wall and changed for optimum position as your baby grows.
For more information, visit step2.com or view the award posting at www.toyportfolio.com.
About The Step2® Company
The Step2® Company is a family company with brands including Step2®, Infantino®, and Thinkativity® that foster learning and development through creative play in children from birth to school-age years. Step2, based in Streetsboro, Ohio, is the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys and the world’s largest rotational molder of children’s and home products, including children’s play kitchens, playhouses, outdoor toys and ride on toys, as well as home products such as mailboxes, gardening aids and trash cans. Step2, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University’s Schubert Center for Child Studies, sponsors CreativePlayPlus.com, an online resource to provide parents with the latest research on creative play and child development. Visit www.creativeplayplus.com for more information on this partnered initiative. Visit www.step2.com, www.infantino.com and www.thinkativity.com to learn more about The Step2 Company brands.
About Oppenheim Toy Portfolio
Founded in 1989 by mother and daughter team, Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim, the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio does not accept entry fees for reviewing products or take ads from companies. The Oppenheims are independent child development experts and contributors to NBC’s TODAY Show. www.toyportfolio.com
Dotti Franks, Vice President Marketing Communications
Margaux Vega, Current Lifestyle Marketing
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